Why Are Compostable Items More Expensive Than Plastic?

Why Are Compostable Items More Expensive Than Plastic?

Most restaurant owners want to do what they can to help the environment. Compostable takeout containers seem like an easy place to start. Unfortunately, many owners are surprised to find that these items cost more than the plastic alternatives. There is one very important reason why, and it involves the process used to make compostable items.

What does compostable mean?
Unlike plastic, compostable packaging breaks down over a short amount of time, leaving no trace of chemicals or pollutants in the environment. Typically, this happens over 90 days or less. On the other hand, plastic waste takes years – sometimes even hundreds of years – to break down, often leaving many harmful chemicals behind.

Why should you choose compostable products?
Obviously, compostable items are a much better for the environment than plastic products. However, some people might argue that recycling accomplishes the same goal: less waste in landfills. While that may be true, it’s certainly worth noting that a large portion of the population still doesn’t recycle. (Roughly 34 percent of waste in the U.S. is recycled.) If you use compostable takeout containers, you can rest assured that these items won’t negatively impact the environment, even if your customers don’t recycle. It’s also worth mentioning that some areas have laws or regulations that require restaurant owners to be as eco-friendly as possible.

Why are compostable products more expensive?
The use of plastic is prevalent because it’s cheap to produce. Unfortunately, it’s much more costly in the long run due to the damage it can cause. Compostable products, on the other hand, are more difficult to manufacture, which makes them more expensive. It takes a great deal of effort to produce these products, which are usually made from organic and all-natural materials. However, the long-term cost is actually much cheaper than plastic since these products won’t cause any dangerous effects on our environment. Economists also speculate that, like most manufactured goods, compostable products will become less expensive as demand goes up.

If you’re considering making the switch to compostable takeout containers, please consider the full effect of each dollar you spend. While you may need a larger budget to provide your customers with this eco-friendly option, it will be well worth the reward later. 

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